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Consumers increasingly use internet for auto insurance quotes

The internet is the first port of call for web-savvy consumers shopping for the best auto insurance deals.

That's the main finding of a recent survey carried out by comScore, which says that insurance agents are rapidly losing market share to websites that provide online auto insurance quotes.

Although a majority of respondents eventually make their purchases from a local agent, the internet is fast becoming an important part of the auto insurance purchase process as growing numbers of drivers venture online to scope out options and prices.

The increasing tendency toward online price comparison across all generations of web users comes as the tight economy forces drivers up and down the land to scour their bank statements for possible cost savings.

Recent industry figures pointed to a 3 percent increase in auto insurance premiums last year at a time of sharply rising unemployment and falling paychecks.

In the latest research, 63 percent of respondents said the internet was their preferred method for finding an insurance quote, more than the number who called or visited a local insurance agent (26 percent) or called a toll-free number (18 percent).

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